“The Gold Diggers’ Song (We’re in the Money)” is the opening number in Gold Diggers of 1933. After police interrupt the dance and call off the show due to unpaid debts, four aspiring actresses and a producer get financial assistance from the son of a millionaire. Although the heir is a talented singer and pianist, he refuses to be a part the show he funds because his family doesn’t want him to be a part of the theater. When the lead falls ill, the heir is forced to star in the show after all, but when his brother and family lawyer get the news of his performance, they try to stop him—fearing he’ll be seduced by a “gold digger.” By the end of the movie, of course, all the women except Fay, played by Ginger Rogers, are married to wealthy men.
Written by Al Dubin and with music by Harry Warren and directed by that genius of musical choreography, Busby Berkeley, “The Gold Diggers’ Song” is an ironic ditty about the joys of American currency in the midst of the Great Depression with Ginger Rogers and the rest of the chorus decked out in an abundance of coins. The lyrics remind us that during the Depression money was simply what you needed “to get along”. Perhaps the same number today would have chorus girls dancing about with Kuwaiti Dinars (top currency today!). Not quite the same as silver dollars.